True story: I’m working my way through the acclaimed HBO series The Wire, and I’m most of the way through the third season. If you’ve seen the show, you know that’s there absolutely no way not to come away from each episode with one overriding question in your mind: Why the hell does anybody live in Baltimore?
Yesterday I put this very question to a member of the People Newspapers staff who used to live in Baltimore, award-winning reporter Bradford Pearson. He mentioned something about being able to afford living cheap in some sort of haunted mansion, and that there aren’t drug dealers on every corner, just most corners. I remained unconvinced.
But lo and behold, Bloomberg Businessweek has come out with a list of the best American cities to live in, and Baltimore is No. 29 of the 50 that are ranked. This is not, in itself, remarkable, except that our own fair city, Dallas, comes in at just No. 41. Among the other municipalities outdoing us are Lincoln, Nebraska, and Tulsa, Oklahoma? Truly?
Businessweek’s write-up on Baltimore mentions that it’s got a high unemployment rate (11.1 percent) and the fourth-worst crime rate on the list. And yet they’d still rather live there than here? Â I won’t bore you with what they wrote about Dallas, since it’s nothing that you haven’t read many times before (big stuff, glitz, fried foods, bull riding). How can they get away with judging us based on some silly TV show that wasn’t even on HBO?
Perhaps contributing to our underwhelming placement is the photo they chose to run, which seems to have been takenÂ mid-winter in some nondescript corner of downtown.